Gate Studies (p.ruston, 2014)

These compositions explore gated-feedback networks where several musical sources ‘resolve’ to near-infinite variation and polyrhythmic/tonal complexity.

created by Paul Ruston in 2014.

UrMusic Philosophy

“Theory is a recipe for style” (James Tenney) UrMusic Creative Research follows a philosophy of music that considers style a compounding of evolutionary, environmental, and cultural patterns of observation, evaluation, and imitation that obscure the dynamic, emergent properties of interactive gesture (body), acoustical space (environment), and neural entrainment (ear/mind). Paul… Read more “UrMusic Philosophy”


Here I show the spectral make-up of ‘harmonic’ sounds (sometimes called ‘musical’ sounds, a term I dislike). Using a sample of a male choir singing a single long tone, the spectral components of the sound are revealed through a demonstration of the 3 basic parameters of E.Q. (equalisation), a studio tool that is used to shape timbre, or ‘tone colour’), which include ‘centre frequency’, ‘gain’, and ‘Q’ (quality factor). This is used to introduce the harmonic series, which will be an important reference point for many of the following videos.

Resonant Network: Guitar & Drumset

This demonstrates the emergent, tonal nature of rhythmic entrainment. Melodic, harmonic, timbral shifts, voice-like effects, are all emergent from very simple gestures and motifs. Often the guitar plays only two notes or chords but results in polyphonic, polyrhythmic contrapuntal structures.

Drum & Guitar Network Diagram


The Infinite Drum Machine

Thousands of everyday sounds, organized using machine learning.
By Manny Tan & Kyle McDonald

Infinite Drum Machine

Infinite Drum Machine

Sounds are complex and vary widely. This experiment uses machine learning to organize thousands of everyday sounds. The computer wasn’t given any descriptions or tags – only the audio. Using a technique called t-SNE, the computer placed similar sounds closer together. You can use the map to explore neighborhoods of similar sounds and even make beats using the drum sequencer.

Built by Kyle McDonald, Manny Tan, Yotam Mann, and friends at Google Creative Lab. Thanks to the London Philharmonia for contributing some sounds to this project.